A touch of bravery

We rush for answers,

When we shouldn’t wait for hours.

We crave normalcy,

When all we need is a touch of bravery.

We sit down to think about our lives,

When we could be out there, on overdrive.

We want money and power,

When it’s only each other that we truly need and desire?

We limit ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually,

When we can experience it all, really.

We want to create without the blank slate,

When that blank state is what we need to create.

We censor our voice,

When we have the choice.

Let fear consume you,

And it will come back to hunt you.

 

Why we want to change people, and how we’ve been molded to think with our brains 


I don’t even know where to start. This day has been a rollercoaster ride. Heck, this past year has been one big giant unsteady shaky slack line. And in these past two weeks? I have probably felt every emotion on every spectrum that exists.

-First wave of emotion- Nostalgia

On this morning’s bike ride, I found myself right back where I spent my first five years in Calgary. The river was calmer than I’ve seen in decades, but despite the lack of activity around me, this wave of nostalgia hit me like a brick. This was  déjà-vu, circa 2001-2004 – the hilly pathway by the Elbow, the swimming pool we spent our summers at, the shady BBQ spots, my first float, Sandy Beach, the walking home from school on the frozen river, our tree house, Rideau, the steep hill we slid down on our toboggan once ‘cuz we wanted to arrive at school in style (weirdos!), the first time we all got collectively grounded for staying out and about too late (12-year-olds be crazy!), the time I spent the night with my neighbour on whom I had a crush on, watching the stars in our sleeping bags on his front lawn. I mean, the list can go on, the memories are endless. Ironic how people from back then rarely remember my name or even know I went to school with them. I, however, remember almost everything…

-Second wave of emotion -Brokenness

Next thing you know, I am lying face down on my kitchen floor, sobbing big fat angry tears. It was a long time coming and I absolutely needed to feel this.  The composure I’ve been maintaining for too long had to go, the act was over, vulnerabilty took over my entire body, curling me into a tiny ball of grief and despair. I’m hurt, I’m angry, I’m angry that I got angry, I’m angry that I’m still angry. Did I mention hurt and angry? I make a quick phone call to a friend overseas who never sugar coats anything. He flats out tells me I have no confidence and that I’m too nice. Touché. I’m unsure how these comments didn’t break me more. Somehow, it lifted my spirits. I have learnt something. Honesty wins the day. Sobbing sesh is over.

-Third wave of emotion -Openness.

Life is way too short. Permanence is non-existent. We are temporary. Once this registers into our brains, we become fearless, we become open to receiving, open to new experiences. Our judgements are set aside, we live in the moment, we don’t think, we just feel. I have not felt this openness in a long time.  I shy away from feeling. I absolutely hate the idea of being vulnerable in front of someone. Someone tries to get too close too soon? I’ll sabotage. Sad but true. If  I have feelings for you, you’ll likely never find out. Pathetic right?, living in fear Iike that. Only took me seven years to finally confess. The person had no idea.

-Fourth wave of emotion – Inspiredness

I’m tired? The answer is yoga.

Angry? Yoga

Sad? Yoga

Energized? Yoga

Yoga is my high, my fuel. It’s also a classroom of wisdom and wake-up calls.

 Inspiration número uno :


We try to change people because of our own insecurities.

Touché. My insecurities were still kicking around. Mainly trust issues, trust in others and trust in myself. I’ve come to learn that people with their nose in your business are likely avoiding whatever is going on with them. It’s always easier to “fix” others and focus our energy on others’ problems to avoid facing ourselves entirely. True story. Ideally, we’d accept everyone as they are because when we learn to accept our imperfect selves, other people’s issues simply do not affect us.  Whether we should let everyone in is another story.

Inspiration número dos:

We let our brains take over our lives. 

From a very young age, we are told to think with our brains. We were wired to process everything with thoughts and to conform to society’s high demand of ourselves: get into competitive sports, get a degree, take on a highly respected career path, make lots of money, become famous, get a house, get married, make babies. With all those high demands comes a lot of thinking and a lot of thinking over what is wrong and what is right. The truth? There is no wrong or right. If we would simply let ourselves feel more, we would realize that that’s what only truly matters. What do I want out of my life? Who do I want to surround myself with? What makes me happy?

It feels safe to deny life and all the beauty it has to offer. It feels safe not to feel and not take a chance because we are afraid to get hurt. This ain’t a rehearsal though. One shot, one life. Like I told my friend on the phone, “let me cry, damn it. Let me feel. It hurts like a bitch but I’d rather feel than feel nothing at all”.

When did we become entitled to become the bitter judge of everything?

  
Offices are toxic. I think people forget that the pannels separating cubicles are not soundproof. We have all thought at some point that what we were whispering to our neighbour wasn’t being heard. 

This is one big fat understatement. 

You know that saying, if walls could talk? Yeah, well… they definitely do! 

When you are confined to a dusty vampire estate (a.k.a no sunlight), people are bound to go crazy and criticize every aspect of their environment. Talk is unavoidable, from loud banter to sneaky whispers, people love to be the center of attention; people love to gossip. Do what I do and put on those headphones and listen to sick jungle beats; I promise you, you will have your head more in the game with the benefit of a big summer festival party in your ears!

What blows me  away is how easily we can let our surroundings affect us. It takes a strong person to not get affected by office drama, injustices, secrets and complacency. You constantly have to remind yourself why you are still here (everyone has their reasons) and what to do to make your work day productive and comfortable. 

One thing that we forget overtime is our lack of empathy, our bitter judgement towards others. We forget about our true selves, what we are like outside of our work environments. I’m personally more closed off at work. But what if we started to see that it’s OK  to be more honest with each other at work rather than go with the dull small talk of, “How was your weekend?” “Oh, good.”?  Isn’t it a bit mindless and automatic? Bring on the genuine, the kindness, the fun! What’s so wrong with connecting with others on a deeper level?  

At work, we also don’t know how to be easy on others. We often don’t know what is going on in our co-workers’ lives. A death in the family? Divorce? A disease they are battling? Insomnia? We just don’t know, therefore, we must remind ourselves that everyone has their own issues to deal with. Being gentle and aware of this is nice. 

Finally, we all think we are so different but we are in fact all the same. Let’s be honest here, we are faced with the same annoyances at work. So let’s just have after-work beers and bond, why don’t we? 

What inspires you? On giving back, living life and meditation

I am on day 17 of the 21-day Oprah + Deepak Chopra meditation challenge. My mom sent me a link the day before the start of the challenge, and just like that, I decided to be up for the challenge and to stick with it. There has been a couple days where I missed a meditation or two but was always able to make it up the next day. I meditate in strange ways quite frankly. I sometimes sit crossed-legged on my yoga mat with a lit candle, but more often than not, I find myself in savasana-style pose, in my bed right before I go to sleep or in my bath. I figured there were going to be days where I wasn’t up for the ‘traditional’ meditation sesh and I decided to be OK with that and do what felt right at the time. Meditating in the bath gets chilly and meditating right before bed (and usually around 11:30 at night!) puts me to sleep. Sometimes I wonder if I reap the benefits of this challenge because half the time I feel fidgety and my mind is going a million miles an hour and really, I don’t really sit THAT still…. What has changed though is my mind isn’t going a million miles an hour with worry or anxiety. It’s acting this way because this meditation challenge has helped me realize what I truly wanted to do in life, something I feel like I have always known but until now, had no idea how to access that desire. The meditation challenge has completely changed me. There was a switch that has been dormant in me for the past few years and a couple of meditation sessions switched it right back on. How crazy to think something as simple and easy as meditation would put me back in tune with my true desires!

It’s truly been a fantastic journey that has opened me up to my highest desires and which has gotten my mind buzzing with motivation and anticipation! This is great news and continuing meditation will help me stay grounded in my desires, which I believe remains important for any great success to come!

I still cannot believe how alive I feel right now. So much to do, so much to create!

A friend and I drove to Canmore on Sunday and I shared with her my aspirations. It felt so great to be open about what I’ve been up to and where I saw myself take my life next. She too is going through a similar phase and it was just pure joy to be able to share my goals and thoughts with her. To boot, the mountains were overwhelmingly beautiful as always. I always find that they give me the strength and courage to go on and follow my intuition, my gut feeling…their beauty is inspiring; always turn to nature for inspiration. It is where you will find true unspoiled beauty and true unspoiled beauty inspires, always… It was a quiet Sunday afternoon amongst the Rockies, a truly magical and inspiring Sunday afternoon hangout beyond words. What a gorgeous day!

All this new development in my life got me thinking of all things that inspire me. Books inspire me, nature inspires me, people who believe in living their dreams, not simply watching them from afar. People who are not afraid to take a risk; people who live life in honesty and who give back inspires me greatly too! I stumbled upon The Giving Keys, a company who employs those transitioning out of homelessness. Their concept is amazeballs! Or The Rocky Mountain Soap’s new toxic-free campaign! Wow! It’s great to hear of people coming up with new concepts that have meaning and that give back!! Bring it on world!

Meditation and yoga will never seize to inspire me; lately, even swing dancing has inspired me. What a great way to let loose, live a little, not be afraid to look silly and let go of one’s busy day! What a great way to be a part of a community too! It is rare nowadays to find a community of people who get together to dance, live and laugh. Might as well enjoy it while we can! Community is important! We are too disconnected!! Dance brings people together, it makes you connect and it makes you feel alive!!

Fashion has always inspired me. Being unique in how you dress, trying something new, the love for beautiful things, beautiful textiles, beautiful objects…candles, vintage suitcases…

As always my list can go on and on because the world truly inspires me. A crack in the sidewalk inspires me! The snow, the fog, the wind…

Tears of joy inspire me…reading about random-acts-of-kindness made my day. Read about it here. I really like the train story (the things we can do when we unite!) and the opponent’s cake story (wow, beautiful).

Anyway, enough about me….I want to know what inspires YOU? Leave your comments, pass it forward.

Live your life.
Claire